Back in the day, when Eagles training camp was held in front of thousands of fans at Widener, West Chester and Lehigh, all the newspapers would put out a guide before camp began titled something like, “What You’ll See at Eagles Camp.”
Here we are in 2020, and we’ll call this one “What Nobody Will See at Eagles Training Camp.”
Starting today and continuing through the first week of September, the Eagles will be participating in a variety of training camp practices at the NovaCare Complex with only a couple dozen observers - some media, some scouts, some assorted team officials.
The NFL and NFLPA over the weekend agreed to a long and complex series of protocols that will govern this unique preseason.
It’ll be another two weeks before the Eagles can even practice as a team and three weeks before the players can practice in pads.
With no preseason games this summer, it will be only 27 days from the first padded practice to the regular-season opener.
Here’s a look at the training camp schedule as agreed to by the league and the players’ association:
COVID-19 testing and virtual meetings: Veterans are reporting starting today and getting tested on a daily basis before entering the NovaCare Complex. There are no practices during this phase and all team meetings will still be held virtually.
Physicals and equipment distribution: All players will undergo their usual pre-camp physicals in addition to COVID-19 testing. Virtual meetings will continue and nobody will be allowed on the practice field.
Acclimation period: These nine days are similar to spring minicamps. The players will be allowed on the field but without helmets and only for strength and conditioning work. The coaches won't be permitted on the field during this phase. Only the team’s strength and conditioning staff will be allowed with the players.
Ramp-up period: The gradual transition to football activities begins with coaches now allowed on the field, helmets and shells allowed. The first two days will consist of individual instruction, then after a day off on Aug. 15, there will be two days of full-speed drills allowed for the first time. Still no pads or contact during this period.
Aug. 17-Sept. 6
Practice: The NFL is calling this the “contact integration period,” which is a fancy phrase for "practice." During this 21-day period, teams can practice 18 times, with 14 of those practices allowed to be in full pads. The initial session is limited to 1 1/2 hours, but each practice can increase by 15 minutes up to a limit of 2 1/2 hours. Three are three off days built in to this three-week period.
Sept. 7-Sept. 12: Normal daily regular-season practice routine.
Sept. 13: Eagles vs. Washington Football Team in season opener at 1 p.m. at FedEx Field.
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